Keynote Speaker

Andrew Young has always viewed his career through the lens of his 1st career- that of ordained minister. His work for civil and human rights, his many years in public office as Congressman, United Nations Ambassador and Mayor, his leadership of the Atlanta Olympic Games, his advocacy of investment in Africa through GoodWorks International, and the establishment of the Andrew J. Young Foundation are all a response to his call to serve.

Ambassador Young brings a unique perspective formed by his wealth of experience in national and global leadership to his focus on the challenges of this era. He confronted segregation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and galvanized a movement that transformed a nation through non-violence. Young was a key strategist and negotiator during the Civil Rights Campaigns in Birmingham and Selma that resulted in the passage Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Andrew Young

Work History

He was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1972, the 1st African-American elected from the deep South since Reconstruction. In 1977, President Carter appointed him to serve as the nation's first African-American Ambassador to the United Nations, where he negotiated an end to white minority rule in Namibia and Zimbabwe and brought Carter’s emphasis on human rights to international diplomacy.

Ambassador Young led the effort to bring the Centennial Olympic Games to Atlanta and as Co-Chair of the Atlanta Olympic Committee, he oversaw the largest Olympic Games in history- in the number of countries, the number of athletes and the number of spectators. He was awarded the Olympic Order, the highest award of the Olympic Movement.

The President Jimmy Carter awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom and France awarded him the Legion d’Honneur, the greatest civilian honor in each nation. He has received an Emmy for Lifetime Achievement and his portrait is a part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery.

Boards Served

He serves on a number of boards, including: the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change, Barrick Gold, the United Nations Foundation and the Atlanta Falcons, the Andrew Young School for Policy Studies at Georgia State University and Morehouse College.


Ambassador Young is the author of 3 books: A Way Out of No Way, An Easy Burden and Walk in My Shoes. He is the father of 4 and the grandfather of 8. Ambassador Young and his wife, the educator and civic leader, Carolyn McClain Young reside in Atlanta.